Emma Hart, winner of the sixth edition of the Max Mara Art
Prize for Women, presents her new large artwork Mamma Mia!
at Collezione Maramotti, where it will enter its permanent
collection, after being shown at Whitechapel Gallery, London (12
July – 3 September 2017). The artist’s installation at the
Collection shows some interesting variations compared to the
London’s exhibition, based on the specific features of the site.
The installation consists of a family of large ceramic heads,
suggesting a dialogue with one other. Each sculpture is jug-like in
shape: the spout mimics a nose and the opening a mouth.
Produced by the artist in Faenza alongside ceramic artisans, each
sculpture is glazed incorporating motifs, such as the speech
bubble. The interior space of the heads is filled with vivid
patterns, designed and hand-painted by Hart after researching
the designs and practice of the Italian tradition of maiolica.
Mamma Mia! also represents the culmination of an investigation
into pattern: visual patterns, and patterns of psychological
behaviour, how to design then rupture these and the ruminations
in between. The space between viewer and object is key, as ever in
Hart’s work, and is charged with the artist’s particularly personal
take on her experiences in Italy: the heat, light and colour,
language and family dynamics in an unfamiliar setting.
The exhibition is the result of a six month bespoke residency
which started in June 2016 and was divided between three Italian
cities: Milan, Todi and Faenza, with a Roman stop-over.
Throughout the residency, which was tailored to her practice and
interests, Hart had access to lessons about the Milan Systems
Approach, a systemic and constructivist method of family therapy
at the Scuola Mara Selvini Palazzoli which involves physical reenactments
and the study of repeated actions.
In Rome, Hart
visited funerary monuments with Katherine Huemoeller, a
researcher from Princeton University whose recent investigations
has led Huemoeller to focus on gaining an understanding of
family relationships and structures in ancient Rome. In Todi,
Umbria, Hart discovered maiolica, traditional Italian tin-glazed
pottery which provoked her to create the patterns in her work
before ending her residency in Faenza where she began
consolidating her research and experimenting with new ceramic techniques.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication,
with several guest contributions.
Mamma Mia! will be also on show at Fruitmarket Gallery,
Edinburgh in spring 2018.
Emma Hart makes work that captures the confusion, stress and
nausea of everyday experience. Always in pursuit of real life, real
feelings, Hart uses ceramics to create claustrophobic installations
that engage the viewer physically and emotionally, or in the form
of smaller works which come for the viewer. There are frequent
verbal and visual spillages, and Hart’s use of clay is often
corporeal, forming approximate body parts that act as substitutes
for human action and employment.
Private view by invitation: 14 October 2017, at 6.00pm. The artist
will be present.
15 October 2017 – 18 February 2018
Admission free visit during the opening hours of the permanent
Thursday and Friday 2.30pm – 6.30pm
Saturday and Sunday 10.30am – 6.30pm
Closed: 1 November, 25–26 December, 1 and 6 January
Via Fratelli Cervi 66
42124 Reggio Emilia – Italy
tel. +39 0522 382484
Rhiannon Pickles – Pickles PR
tel. +31 (0)6158 21202
The biennial Max Mara Art Prize for Women promotes and supports
women artists working in the United Kingdom, by offering winners the
opportunity to develop their artistic potential by producing new artworks
during their six-month residence in Italy.
The jury of the sixth edition of the Prize was composed of: Iwona
Blazwick, president of the Prize and director of Whitechapel Gallery;
Fiona Bradley, director of Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh; Sarah Elson,
collector and founder of Launch Pad; Helen Sumpter, editor at Art
Quarterly; and Alison Wilding, artist and member of the Royal
Emma Hart (b. 1974, London) lives and works in London.
She received an MA in Fine Art from the Slade in 2004 and completed
her PhD in Fine Art at Kingston University in 2013.
In 2016 she won the sixth edition (2015-2017) of the Max Mara Art Prize
for Women, in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery.
In 2015 she was awarded a Paul Hamlyn Foundation award for Visual
Art. Recent solo and two person exhibitions include: Love Life: Act 1,
with Jonathan Baldock, Peer, London (2016-’17); The Grundy,
Blackpool, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea (2016-17); Big MOUTH,
Grand Union, Birmingham (2015); Sticky, Austrian Cultural Forum,
London (2015); Spread, Art Exchange, Colchester (2015); SUCKERZ,
with Jonathan Baldock, L’etrangere, London (2015); Giving It All That,
Folkestone Triennial, Folkestone (2014); Dirty Looks, Camden Arts
Centre, London (2013); M20 Death Drives, Whitstable Biennale,
Whitstable (2012); TO DO, Matt’s Gallery, London (2012). Recent group
exhibitions include: The London Open, Whitechapel Gallery, London
(2015); Only the Lonely, La Galerie CAC, Noisy-Le-Sec (2015); Dear
Luxembourg, Nosbaum Reding, Luxembourg (2015); Hey I’m
Mr.Poetic, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge